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January 9, 2013

Jarkko Nieminen


6‑3, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You've had a lot of success on these courts here in Sydney.  What do you put it down to?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  Well, yeah, that's right, I have had my best single win here against Novak and won singles title last year; playing well again.
I think there's many reasons for that.  I think I really like the conditions in Australia overall.  I like coming here.  I like the surface.  I like the balls.  I think I always prepare well for the year.  I know what are the right things to do for me.
Those are the main reasons that I usually play well.  I obviously like the tournaments and the culture of people here.  So, yeah, everything suits well for me here.

Q.  The seeds are dropping like flies.  You give yourself a good chance of going out and defending your title?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  Well, it's a long way to go.  I'm very happy I'm in this stage now, and will be a tough match tomorrow, whoever wins that match which is on on center now.
It will be interesting.  I'm just looking forward for tomorrow.  I'm not even thinking about defending my title at the moment.  If I get to the final on Saturday then it's a different thing, but it's just a quarterfinal.
But I'm very happy that I have still a lot of energy left.  I don't play doubles this time.  Last year I got injured in Melbourne because I played well in both.
I'm also one year older, so I tried save my energy.  Now I got only two short matches under my belt, so I still feel really, really fresh for tomorrow.

Q.  What are your thoughts on either player, Bernard or Florian?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  I think it will be a tight match.  Tomic has started the year really well.  I think he hasn't lost a match.  It wasn't tour event, but he beat Djokovic and other good players in Perth.  He played well yesterday.  I happened to watch one and a half sets.  I think he has improved a lot lately physically.  Like he said himself, he's physically stronger, and that obviously helps a lot.
He has also more experience than last year.  It will be interesting to play him.  It's always nice to play those like players from the new generation.  He's one of the maybe the most‑‑ one the most promising ones.  I haven't played him yet, so that will be interesting.
Florian I know pretty well.  We have both played many years on the tour.  Anyway, it will be a very tough match.  They both have very special game style.

Q.  How hard it was for you this morning?  You were expecting to play Simon and of course you didn't.  When did you find out?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  I was actually warming up on center court.  I was warming up at the same time with Simon and Klec.  I think Simon left looking to the practice desk, and Ivo Klec signed with him to warmup with him.
When we started to serve I saw that Simon has a lot problems to serve.  He couldn't really hit through.  I was like just watching that.  I don't know what's happening over there.
Then after the warmup Simon came to me and said that I will play against lucky loser.  He can't play.

Q.  Is that off putting?  Distracting?  I suppose it happens a bit.
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  Well, it doesn't happen that often.  Sometimes you know the day before somebody gets injured.  This was only couple of hours before the match, so I had to adjust.
Obviously the on the paper Simon is obviously much higher ranked, the better player, but still, I knew Klec.  I actually played him a couple years ago in Adelaide when he qualified there.
Yeah, it's mentally demanding when the opponent changes only couple hours before.  Still I try to concentrate to my game and just play with a little bit different tactics.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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